On skewed media reporting of #GeneralStrike2022
As usual, all the reporting in the mainstream media on #GeneralStrike2022 have been silent about the demands of the trade unions. The corporate media in Kerala has been working as the agents of the Sangh and the BJP, whose trade union is the only one not participating in this strike. Highlighting the demands would make people realise why these strikes are needed, because it has a charter of demands which includes issues affecting people from all sections, including the salaried class (including the anti-strike anchors in news channels). The reporters who claim that the strike is strong only in Kerala (as a means of mocking it), should question why it is not strong in other states. They should also probably try reading up on the many protests which have happened in European countries in recent years over similar issues, which have only led to a change in policies. It is about time they understood that the many rights they take for granted were won through such protests. (These apply to the despicable centrists dissing the protesters too)
Sharing the list of demands since it is hardly mentioned in mainstream media.
1. Scrapping of the four new Labour Codes and the Essential Defence Services Act. The new labour codes were introduced with an intention to destroy the existing labour laws, which provide for various rights of workers. The Defence Services Act was introduced to target workers protesting against privatisation of defence production companies.
2. Accept the 6-point charter of demands of Samyukta Kisan Morcha including withdrawal of fake cases against farmers and withdrawal of Electricity Amendments Bill, provision for MSP etc.
3. End to mindless privatisation of Public Sector Units and scrapping of the National Monetisation Pipeline meant to sell off profit making PSUs to corporate friends of sanghis.
4. Income support of Rs.7500 per month to all non-income tax-paying families
5. Increase allocation for MGNREGA and extension of employment guarantee programme to urban areas. (Kerala already has an urban employment guarantee scheme). The BJP govt had cut MNREGS allocations in the current budget.
6. Provide universal social security for all informal sector workers
7. Provide statutory minimum wages and social security cover for Anganwadi, ASHA, mid-day meal and other scheme workers (Do checkout the stories done by Frontline, Newsclick and others on the several protests by anganwadi,ASHA workers across the country who are paid a pittance for the important work they are doing)
8. Provide full protection, and insurance cover, for frontline workers serving the people in the midst of the pandemic
9. Increase public investment in agriculture, education, health and other crucial public services by raising resources from higher taxation of the rich in order to revive and revamp the economy.
10. Substantially reduce Central excise duty on petroleum products and take concrete steps to arrest price rise. (Petrol price has gone up by close to Rs.4 in the past one week. Now that UP elections are over, these hikes will continue in the coming weeks)
11. Regularise all contract workers and scheme workers, and ensure equal pay for equal work for all.
12. Cancel the New Pension Scheme (NPS) and restore the old scheme; increase minimum pension under the Employees' Pension Scheme.
The unions are also protesting against several other anti-people measures including the recent reduction in interest rate of PPF, making it the lowest rate in 4 decades.